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Stephen Hawking's Universe: The Cosmos Explained [Kindle Edition]

David Filkin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The companion to the popular PBS series. For everyone who bought A Brief History of Time (9 million so far) but had trouble understanding it, this is a simple, easily accessible explanation of the same ideas—and an introduction to the people behind them.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Filkin is the producer of Stephen Hawking’s Universe in collaboration with the independent production company Uden Associates. He is a science documentary maker of international repute and was until 1994 head of BBC Television’s Science Department. He lives in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it = enjoyment Guaranteed September 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Stephen Hawking's universe is one of the best books I ever read in my life.It is a great book for beginners, as well as advanced scientists. It explains the universe and other subjects, without the use of complex equations. This book is written in the form of a science timeline, which includes lots of Titans of the science world. These great people include Albert Einstein, Newton, Stephen Hawking and others. No matter how smart the reader is, if he likes science he should read this book. This book is like a database of scientific facts and theories. In the book, journey through time and find out about the earliest Greek mathematicians to Newton's Infinite Universe. Then 500 years later read how his theories were being proven wrong again by Einstein and others. Read about the people who started science and then the others who improved it. Here in this book you will find all the facts of science. I loved this book and I hope you will too. Two Thumbs up.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too simple, bad photos, not Hawking. January 11, 2001
By Tim E.
Format:Paperback
I'm not a cosmologist, but Stephen Hawking's Universe was so simply written it is essentially condescending. The language is akin to the level one would read in a newspaper. Moreover, the pictures are second rate pre-contact lense Hubble knock-offs (despite being published in 1997), and the book has very little to do with Stephen Hawking. Sure, he wrote the foreward and did some editing, but it lacks the wit and wonder of a Hawking work. Naming the book after him and putting his picture on the front is misleading. I AM a chemist, and despite this, Filkin's descriptions of Chemical discoveries left even me guessing because he was attempting to dumb-down ideas that aren't dumb-downable, and didn't include diagrams which would be helpful for anyone trying to understand the concepts (like neutrino capturing or particle acceleration). If you want to learn some cosmology, read "A Brief History of Time" or "A Short History of the Universe". These are simply written but informative works that won't leave you waiting for substance.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Version of "A Brief History" September 25, 2000
Format:Paperback
The title "Stephen Hawking's Universe" may give you the wrong impression about this book, because one would naturally associate Stephen Hawking with more in-depth scientific theories. However, this book is in fact no more than an introduction to the histories and discoveries of our universe. That is, it is more of a "tell-tale" than an explanation type of book, and should not be compared with books like "A Brief History of Time" (by Stephen Hawking himself).
In terms of presentation, this book does a great job in showing us the discoveries made by various scientists of the past and present in a fairly logical order. The beautiful illustrations used also contribute in helping the readers to understand and to maintain interest in the contents. Nevertheless, at times the author does seem to lose focus on the topics, and they become slightly more difficult to follow. Quite often you have to read on a couple of pages (or even chapters) before you are taken back on track.
To summarise, the book provides a clear outline of human's knowledge of the universe in a very graphical manner, and would be suited to those new to such concepts. However, if you are expecting explanation of greater depths, then you will probably be disappointed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I'm only fourteen, and such books can often be intimidating. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book easy to read and understand. It's an excellent book to read if you're looking for a relatively general explination of the cosmos.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cosmology book for begginers April 19, 2000
By David
Format:Paperback
When I first saw this book, I thought it was going to be a little difficult to read and understand. I started reading it and it became clear that it was very easy to understand. Filkin begins the book with information about the early astronomers who tried to explain the cosmos with no scientific instruments at all. The book works up through all of the other very important astronomers of all time to the present day greats such as Stephen Hawking. The later part of the book focuses more on the origin of the universe and the search for the one theory to connect everything in the universe together. There is also information on black holes and such. Again, this book is good for begginers, but also anyone interested in astronomy and the origin of the universe. For anyone looking for more information about this subject, I would recomend Stephen Hawking`s "A Brief History of Time"
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read, Simple as That May 21, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
First, Stephen Hawking did not write this book. A journalist wrote it, as a history of the development of our understanding through the sciences and key players of the respective times, culminating in our time and key player, Stephen Hawking.
Second, it is an excellent explanation of how we got to where we are in understanding.
What I like about it most, is what I found in it that is absent in most such books - an honest admitting that, at every turn and at every new development, more questions were generated than answers, and the possible answers have not yet been able to eliminate the possiblity of randomness or creative divinity at the beginning.
In addition, it shows clearly that scientists have made as many mistakes as the religious (i.e. the use of radio-active material at its earliest use in society).
Most importantly, there is a documented record of the historal view that the big bang was a Christian contribution that does not destroy the idea of God, but was supportive of the idea of God, through science. The whole story of Einstein's criticism of Newton's physics (the foundation of astronomy for hundreds of years); the implications of the Hubble expanding universe discovery and Lemaitre's reasoning back to the day before which there was not; this history, so conveniently overlooked in so much of the literature, is the line upon which Stephen Hawking's work with black holes rests.
The theories, the conjectures, the politics, the pride and competition, all these issues are a part of the history of the development of our current understanding, far from the image of scientists as noble altruistic champions in the search for absolute truth that we'd be lead to believe.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 11 days ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It! I have a much greater understanding of ...
Loved It! I have a much greater understanding of the Cosmos and many of the scientific discoveries since the Ancient Times.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written journalism. Not a deep explanation. Somewhat ...
Well written journalism. Not a deep explanation. Somewhat outdated.
Published 5 months ago by Nature Painter
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Steven Hawkins is an amazing person with an amazing mind! This book is super smart but easy to understand even if you have an average I.Q.
Published on September 8, 2011 by TheDuchessOfDeath
5.0 out of 5 stars Even I can understand this explanation!
Stephen Hawking's explanation of the cosmos is a must for those struggling to understand earth's place in the universe. Hawking is one of the great minds of our times. Read more
Published on June 30, 2011 by Claja99
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Hawking's Universe
This book was not in the condition as advertised. I expected the book to be in better condition, according to the description left by the seller.
Published on November 30, 2010 by Tyra L. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Simply a Superb Introduction to Cosmology.
In his own inimical way, the holder of Cambridge's Lucasian Chair, Stephen Hawking, again scores a trifecta: a literary, scientific and conceptual triumph. Read more
Published on January 22, 2010 by Herbert L Calhoun
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-Fiction
A layman accessible look at the various sciences supporting cosmology.

As you can see from the author, the only actual Hawking here is the beginning, but his work is... Read more
Published on April 7, 2008 by Blue Tyson
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic.....
This is a classic book. And it looks great on a coffee table. Everyone will think you're smart.

A great book to have and read, and to tell people that you read it.
Published on November 17, 2006 by Glenn H.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, but more to do with other Various Scientists
Stephen Hawking's Universe is a book that attempts to explain Stephen Hawking's theories of how the universe was created. Under Stephen's theories he supports the Big Bang. Read more
Published on March 31, 2005 by Calvin
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